10 Questions Employee Advocates Should Ask before Sharing Content
You’ve signed up to participate in your company’s employee advocacy program.
You understand the benefits of employee advocacy.
You’re ready to be active on social media, but you’re feeling nervous. You’re not certain what constitutes a good social media post.
Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself before you curate content on any social media channel.
1. Will my followers find the post interesting?
Employee advocacy is great for you and your company. It helps your company increase its brand awareness, while also helping you build your personal brand.
To be effective, though, you cannot think only about your needs and your company’s needs. You have to think about your audience.
Your posts will get more clicks, more retweets, more likes – if and only if your posts matter to your audience. Before posting anything, ask yourself, Will my followers find this post interesting?
2. Should I share this link privately with one of my followers?
When you share a link publicly, there’s a chance that some of your followers might not see your post. Your Twitter feed moves rapidly, and some people do not sign into LinkedIn on a daily basis.
If you really want someone to see your post, you may want to send them a direct message on Twitter or a message on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can consider tagging someone in your post by using the @ symbol.
More targeted messages are ideal for salespeople who are doing social selling. Did you find the perfect piece of content that Bobby Foofoo must read? Great! Send him that piece of content, and move him to the next stage in the sales funnel.
3. Does the post reflect my personal brand?
Look at the diagram under the first question again.
Being an advocate for your company works best when your personal and professional interests intersect with those of your company.
This is not to say that you should not tweet about cookie recipes if you work for a tech company. But you truly are an employee advocate when you share tips and news related to your company and its industry.
If you’re thinking to yourself, Gee, I have nothing in common with my company. That’s probably not true. If you weren’t a good fit for your company, why did they hire you?
Besides, your personal brand is not just about links, infographics, videos, news, tips, and tricks. It’s more than that. Your personal brand is also about how you say something. Before you post, think about the tone of your post.
Do you want to come across as…?
4. Am I curating a piece of content that my followers have not seen?
It’s easy to share the articles and videos that everyone else is sharing. But here’s the thing: If you share only the popular articles, you risk getting lost in the noise.
Try to find some content gems. Try to find some of the lesser-known resources that only you can bring to your followers. That way, you prove to your followers that you can offer unique insight – something they may not have seen otherwise.
When you can offer something new, that’s when you set yourself apart. A good employee advocacy platform will make it easy for you to find those content gems.
5. Does my post provide context for the article?
To stand out and be helpful to your followers, you should add your own commentary. Here are three questions you can ask to add context:
- Why am I sharing this piece of content?
- Why should my followers care about it?
- Have I articulated the context clearly?
Believe it or not, that last question is crucial. The need for clarity may seem completely obvious to you. But it is not obvious for everyone. Take, for instance, this tweet from Marc Benioff.
Benioff has added his own commentary about Facebook’s psychological experiment. It’s “amazing,” he remarks. But is it a good kind of amazing? Or is it a bad kind of amazing? Is it good that Facebook tinkered with users’ emotions?
The word “amazing” doesn’t clearly explain Benioff’s thoughts.
6. Is the format of this post optimized for each social network?
Once you’ve chosen the right social network for your post, you have to think about how that post will be displayed. For example, LinkedIn does not use hashtags, but Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram do. (For a complete guide to hashtags, check out this resource from Moz.)
Additionally, are you sticking to the optimal word count? For instance…
- Twitter: 120-130 characters (Source)
- LinkedIn: 25 words (Source)
7. Am I posting this at the best time?
You’re sharing content because you want your followers to see it. So, be strategic.
Think, for example, about the geographical location of your primary group of followers. If they live on the east coast of the United States, you probably do not want to schedule all your posts for midnight in California. Your New York followers will not see it.
Another option is to look at your analytics. Dig through your analytics and look for your most popular posts. Then, look at the time stamp on those posts. Is there a trend? Perhaps that’s a good time for you to post.
8. Have I proofread my post?
Scott Warner’s tweet is meant to be funny. And while social media is full of “word crimes,” you should not relish in breaking the laws. Be cautious of sloppy spelling and grammar. Making too many mistakes can hurt your personal brand. Moreover, it reflects poorly on your company.
9. Have I spread out my posts?
People follow you because they like you and what you post. That’s a good thing. But their loyalty will wane if you post too much
It’s annoying to look at your Twitter feed and see that Bobby Foofoo has posted every five minutes for the past four hours. Think of social media like a dinner party. Do you want to sit next to the person who can’t stop talking and must comment on everything?
To avoid annoying your followers, spread your posts out. On Twitter, you can post between 10 and 14 times per day without annoying people – if you spread out your posts.
On LinkedIn, you will want to be more reserved. We recommend posting between once and twice every day – perhaps once in the morning and another time in the afternoon.
For more tips and tricks on curating content, check out our content curation workbook.
10. Does this post violate my company’s social media policy?
Your company should have a social media policy. Before you post, think about your company’s guidelines. When in doubt, ask yourself, Would my boss get upset if she saw this post? If the answer is “yes,” perhaps you shouldn’t post it.